Traditionally, critical thinking has been variously defined as follows: Contemporary critical thinking scholars have expanded these traditional definitions to include qualities, concepts, and processes such as creativity, imagination, discovery, reflection, empathy, connecting knowing, feminist theory, subjectivity, ambiguity, and inconclusiveness.
Some definitions of critical thinking exclude these subjective practices.
He established the importance of asking deep questions that probe profoundly into thinking before we accept ideas as worthy of belief.
He established the importance of seeking evidence, closely examining reasoning and assumptions, analyzing basic concepts, and tracing out implications not only of what is said but of what is done as well.
The list of core critical thinking skills includes observation, interpretation, analysis, inference, evaluation, explanation, and metacognition.
According to Reynolds (2011), an individual or group engaged in a strong way of critical thinking gives due consideration to establish for instance: In addition to possessing strong critical-thinking skills, one must be disposed to engage problems and decisions using those skills.
His method of questioning is now known as "Socratic questioning" and is the best known critical thinking teaching strategy.
In his mode of questioning, Socrates highlighted the need for thinking for clarity and logical consistency.
Critical thinking employs not only logic but broad intellectual criteria such as clarity, credibility, accuracy, precision, relevance, depth, breadth, significance, and fairness.
The habits of mind that characterize a person strongly disposed toward critical thinking include a desire to follow reason and evidence wherever they may lead, a systematic approach to problem solving, inquisitiveness, even-handedness, and confidence in reasoning.